One of the advantages of the net is the ability to drill into off pitch opinions. Something Slugger was reasonably adept at at the beginning. But as we’ve got closer to mainstream sources, we may not have been so good at in recent times. So I’m grateful to the guys at Innate for a heads up to their online magazine. Here’s an extract from this week’s editorial on the pessimist/optimist theory:
There are two major options as regards optimism and pessimism in Northern Ireland at the moment. A pessimistic optimist would say that in the short term there are going to be considerable problems but that with the eventual restoration of devolved government at Stormont things will settle down and slowly the issues that have bedevilled Northern Ireland will either be dealt with, forgotten, or put aside.
An optimistic pessimist might say that while some things are making, and will make, progress, nothing has fundamentally altered the nature of sectarianism and despite political progress the reality of division has not changed one iota; the negative forces live to fight another day while people presently muddle through. Things will eventually ‘settle down’ – whatever that means – but the forces of sectarianism, racism and paramilitarism live on – though the ball is still in play and it is actually quite early in the match.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty